Let’s take a trip Tuesday – Toronto

Name: Sonja

Location: Toronto

I’m the one on the end holding the “O”

How long have you lived there? 
About 15 years
If you moved from somewhere else, where did you move from? Why? 
Long story, but I’m gonna make it super brief! ;o)
I was born in Sarajevo. Left when I was four because of the war, lived in Zagreb for a year with my mom, until my dad also managed to get out.  The three of us lived in Prague for two years, I started school, and then mid-grade two we moved to Toronto where I’ve lived ever since. 
That was quick! Good enough reason for moving right? haha

How is the weather?
It can be great! …aaand it can be brutal.
This summer was super hot! And pretty darn humid too.
Winters can be rough, and living close to the water doesn’t help. I’m horrible with cold weather though, so don’t ask me… it’s the one thing I can complain about all the time, any time. hehe
But really, the weather here just has a bad rep, generally it’s not as bad as we like to make it seem ;o) 
Oh and I need to add that autumn is beauuutiful!
Short. But beeeeautiful, definitely my favorite here.  

Tell us what a typical weekend is like for you there? 
This really depends on the time of year. And honestly being an architecture student… I don’t really have a life haha. A free weekend would be an extreme luxury.
But typically  fun weekends go something like this…
In the Winter:
Skiing! I admit, we don’t have the mountains they do in Western Canada, heck we barely have hills… we have things I like to call bumps though.
They’re fun too!  hehe
There’s also plenty of skating, but I can’t skate. I used to, and now I’m pretty
much Bambi on Ice.

During  the warmer seasons:
Although Toronto sits on a Lake, sadly it’s not exactly one recommended for swimming in, but there are lots  and lots of lakes in the surrounding area so there’s plenty of swimming, and cottages during weekends. Lots of delicious fruits and veggies are grown in Ontario, so “pick-your-own” farms are always  fun.

But you can have a good time even if you just stay in the city, cause Toronto has a ridiculous number of festivals and events going on during the warmer seasons, so there’s always something to do :o) Plus we have lots of bike trails and parks which ask for picnics to be had in them.  

Where do you like to eat in your town?
Mmm so many good places!
Ok here it goes (but really I could add about 50 more places)

For Italian : Terronis  . Homemade Pizzas, Pastas, Mozzarella di bufala …mmm!
For Coffee /Tea :
  “Moon Bean” in Kensington Market, my favorite there is actually the fresh squeezed lemonade, plus they have a great little courtyard patio in the back.
 “Coffee Tree” in Bloor West Village,  I’m biased I used to work there, but it’s a great place! They roast the beans on location and there tons of fair trade and organic coffee coffee choices.
“Bulldog Cafe” on church. This place doesn’t have a great location, but they make some gooood cappuccinos!
“Darkhorse” on Spadina (and one on Queen East).  This place has the best decor! and a great concept with huge tables so that lots of people can sit together.
Musa : This place was such a cute little restaurant with a delicious, varied menu for bruch, lunch, dinner, you name it! Plus they had the coolest facade! But sadly there was a massive fire in the building just a few months ago, and it’s been closed since then. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that it will re-open though. :o)
For sushi : Kuni Sushi Ya . It’s on a really cute little residential street (Baldwin St) right in the middle of downtown and there’s an all you can eat sushi menu, aaaand the sushi is incredible!
Jumbo Empanadas : In Kensington Market, cheap delicious amazingness – I love the veggie emapanada. This place has the best salsa I’ve ever tasted…except remember to bring a pack of gum
Ghandi Roti : delicious indian roti! It’s a tiny little shop though, so it’s not a good sit down option
 For brunch – lolas-commissary :   Now this one IS a good sit down option. Very cute little restaurant with the best egg white frittata you will EVER taste…topped with a sundried tomato pesto. Plus they have all sorts of brunch favorites, and a cheesecake stuffed french toast!
Vegeterian – Fresh! The best part is that after 4pm (i think?) each day, they  choose one item to sell at half price.
AND Hibiscus… I think it might be my new favourite place, its a cute little cafe in Kensington market which has a small but amazing menu of delicious soups, salads and crepes. mmm
…The list goes on and on
Where do you like to shop? 
So since I just wrote a novel about food…let’s make this quick!
Queen West cause you can find most stores that you  find in malls (but be outside) , plus tons of other fun, independent stores. Kensington Market for vintage clothes and major bargains.
Suggest some must see places for an out of town visitor. 
Here’s a jot form list (with a few elaborations hehe) :
The two tourist hot spots:
   CN Tower/ Skydome ( These are a given, and the Skydome is no longer named Skydome the name was changed to “Rogers Centre” a few years ago, but I can’t bare to not call it its true name … and you’ll seem like a such a Torontonian if you call it the Skydome ;o) hehe )
        Niagara (It’s not in Toronto, but very close,  it’s extremely touristy but I guess  ‘a must’ if you’re in the area)
  Distillery District
  Toronto Island
  Check out different neighborhoods – Toronto is known for being a city of   neighborhoods, so it’s worth it to explore a few outside of downtown.
  High Park
St Lawrence Market
Casa Loma
Scarborough bluffs
The PATH – our underground shopping centre / “path”. It winds all throughout the downtown core, and gets you from place to place while keeping you warm during the winter. But I’m gonna be honest and tell you that I have absolutely no idea how to use it. I’m actually very good with navigation…but I get SO lost in that thing. I once spent a good 20 minutes walking through the PATH to get to school and when I got out I ended up being across the street from where I had started!
Tell us why you love your town: 
Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world!!! So you can imagine  how much exposure we get to different cultures through art, food, festivals and just meeting people. I LOVE that about this city!

Thanks Sonja for giving us such a great guide to Toronto! 


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